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Soft Security and the Presidency: Swedish Policy towards the Northern Dimension

Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 212-218
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Cooperation and Conflict
Volym: 37
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: SAGE Publications


The Council Presidency offered Sweden a possibility to contribute not only

to a number of important issue areas but also to what we may call the ‘foreign

policy’ side of the EU.A general question was, of course, what sort of

impact Sweden could make in this field, given its background as a nonaligned

and small state — a country generally regarded as hesitant in terms

of supranational policy-making, but with a history of active national foreign

policy. In the work programme of the Swedish Presidency, the enlargement

process stood out as the most important foreign policy objective (see Miles

in this symposium). Indeed, enlargement was the most important issue

overall and was accorded a high profile throughout the Presidency period,

not least in the Göteborg context.

As regards other aspects of EU external relations, Russia and the

Northern Dimension (ND) areas were singled out as significant areas of

interest. The main reason for this was security-related — the work programme

stated that cooperation between the EU and Russia was ‘of

fundamental significance for the security and development of Europe’

(Cabinet Office, 2000: 23). The ND may be interpreted in similar terms —

in seeking to diminish the boundary between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’

of the Union by engaging Russia in closer cooperation.This brief commentary

outlines the main outcomes of the Swedish Presidency as regards the

Russian and ND spheres, and then relates these developments to principal

issues such as the room for presidential influence and the institutional

division of labour (covered by Elgström).


  • Political Science
  • Internationell politik
  • Politik i Europa


  • ISSN: 0010-8367

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